Apple's new iPod shuffle

The third generation Apple iPod shuffle talks to you.
The Apple iPod shuffle has a minimalist design and no control buttons.

The Apple iPod shuffle has a minimalist design and no control buttons.

Apple announced its latest iteration of the iPod shuffle last week, with a design that’s even more minimalist than the last version (the second generation Apple iPod shuffle).

The latest Apple iPod shuffle has a brushed metal exterior, a clip on the rear — and that’s about it! Apart from a mini-USB port, a headphone jack and a single play/shuffle switch, Apple's latest MP3 player has nothing on its exterior.

The iPod Shuffle is controlled using the bundled Apple headphones’ click remote. It has only three buttons and two of those are for volume — so you better get proficient at tapping out all the necessary commands. One tap to play, two to skip, three to skip back, tap and hold to hear track information, tap and hold longer to select and switch between play lists.

The shuffle weighs slightly over 10g, is less than 8mm thick and packs in 4GB of flash memory to hold a thousand songs in Apple’s AAC format. A rechargeable battery offers up to 10 hours of playback time, and charging over USB takes around three hours.

The real drawcard for the newest Apple iPod shuffle is its VoiceOver technology. When installed on your PC, the VoiceOver Kit software creates tiny text-to-speech voice files of all your artist, playlist and track names and syncs them to the iPod Shuffle along with your music files. If you need to know the details of what you’re listening to, you can click and hold the remote to get basic information.

The third generation Apple iPod shuffle comes in two finishes — black or silver — and retails for $129 RRP. It’s available now.